Conservative group keeps spending big bucks to oust Senate Democrats
April 23rd, 2014
03:30 PM ET
3 months ago

Conservative group keeps spending big bucks to oust Senate Democrats

Washington (CNN) - Americans for Prosperity is definitely putting its money where its mouth is.

The conservative non-profit political advocacy group backed by the deep pockets of billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch announced Wednesday that it will spend around $2.5 million over the next two weeks to run television commercials critical of the federal health care law in four states where Democrats face a challenge in keeping Senate seats in party hands.

New numbers in key Senate battles

The ad buys in Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan and New Hampshire bring to more than $35 million in AFP spending this election cycle on TV spots that highlight how the group says Obamacare has negatively impacted average Americans.

The ads have criticized Democratic senators or Senate candidates for their support of the health care law, and have applauded Republicans opposed to it. AFP's also run Obamacare-related spots in about a dozen or so competitive House races.

The new ads target Democratic Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Udall of Colorado, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Rep. Gary Peters of Michigan, who's running this year to keep the seat of retiring Sen. Carl Levin in Democratic hands.

"These politicians are doing a disservice to their constituents when they refuse to acknowledge that Obamacare is leading to canceled plans, higher costs, and lost access to doctors. That's why AFP is continuing aggressive efforts to hold them accountable for their support of Obamacare," said AFP President Tim Phillips in a statement.

The campaigns of the four Democrats were quick to issue statements attacking the new commercials, describing the spots as "misleading"

"Louisianians know better than to believe what they hear from the out-of-state billionaire Koch brothers," said Landrieu's campaign manager, Adam Sullivan.

Shaheen Campaign Manager Mike Vlacich said, "We know the Big Oil Koch Brothers are prepared to spend millions" to try and defeat Shaheen.

"You can't buy a Senate seat here," Vlacich added.

Key races to watch in 2014

Senate Majority PAC, the leading pro-Democratic outside group that's pushing back against AFP's efforts, says it has spent nearly $9 million this cycle to run spots in support of Democrats and critical of Republicans in key Senate races. Senate Majority PAC says it will continue to fight AFP and other pro-GOP outside groups.

Since the 2010 Supreme Court "Citizens United" ruling opened the floodgates for spending by outside political groups, AFP's been a big spender. In the 2012 election cycle, it dished out more than $33.5 million – a quarter of its entire spending – to run ads urging voters to say no to President Barack Obama.

So far this cycle, AFP's spent far more than any other outside group.

In the past couple of months, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has taken to the floor of the Senate to slam the Koch brothers.

The Nevada Democrat has described them as "un-American," having "no conscience" and has said that many of AFP's ads are untrue.

 


Filed under: 2014 • Americans for Prosperity • Colorado • Louisiana • Michigan • New Hampshire • Senate • Senate Race
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Tampa Tim

    Dear God, isn't it time for Karma for these two?

    April 23, 2014 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Tommy G

    Thank God these patriotic Americans are helping to educate the American people about the disastrous Obamacare law, the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people by the Democrat Party of liars and thieves. Keep up the good work!

    April 23, 2014 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Lighting never strikes where it should.
    These two and adelson have done more damage to this country than any natural disaster or war(s).
    In case CNN hasn't covered it. The twit is giving VA's ex governor McDonnell $10 K to help pay legal fees. Must be nice to have friends with money to throw away.

    April 23, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. Hairy Reed

    The American people are all a bunch of liars. Obamacare is the greatest thing since the Hindenburg. You dummies just aren't smart enough to realize that we know what is best for you and your family. Now shut up, sit down and pay twice as much for that $12,000 deductible plan.

    April 23, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Marie MD

    @tommy, biggest fraud? Tell that to the 8+million of Americans who now have health insurance with no cap and no fear of predicting conditions.
    BTW and FYI that includes mental health care.

    April 23, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    "highlight how the group says Obamacare has negatively impacted average Americans.

    CONSISTENTLY proven after the commercials are released to be entirely fabrications and lies.

    April 23, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    Pre existing conditions!

    April 23, 2014 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    Robber baron wannabes.

    April 23, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  9. Denise

    Try, try again losers. If at first yoiu don't succeed, throw another few billion at it.....

    April 23, 2014 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. kobrakai7474

    ....and the amazing solution support by the Kochs to fix healthcare in the United States is???

    Sorry, I can't seem to hear any responses over the chirping of so many crickets.

    April 23, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. TONE

    The Gop with their reverse Robin Hood steal from the poor and give to the rich the job creators but where are the jobs? they as usual cannot show nothing, but these two devils will burn come Nov.

    April 23, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. CALIFORNIA

    It appears democrats can't get the Koch out of their mouths.

    April 23, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    New revelations in MD/VA..........44000 voters registered in both states. More voter fraud.

    April 23, 2014 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "Americans for Prosperity"

    That's a very good name for the group. It accurately reflects their mission.
    It just applies to primarily to two Americans and thier own personal prosperity.

    April 23, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. edog

    Tommy G

    Thank God these patriotic Americans are helping to educate the American people about the disastrous Obamacare law, the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the American people by the Democrat Party of liars and thieves. Keep up the good work!
    -----------------

    Yeah!! These two old guys really look like they want to help the average American out there. They seem so nice and them spending $100 million of their own dollars is just to help the average American.. Wow so nice of these two!!! By the way, do what is their idea for helping Americans get health care? Tommy G, you do realize the uninsured American that uses America's emergency rooms and health system, and then declares bankruptcy ends up getting covered by all American Tax Payers!!!! We all pay for the uninsured Tommy G!!! I wonder what tax rate these two nice old men pay??? I know I pay 40%, but I am sure these two nice Patriotic Americans somehow pay less than 40%.... Maybe they get to pay less than I do because they can spend over $100 million dollars towards our politics... I wonder why the object to Obamacare???? But whatever their personal reasons to objecting it, I am sure it's because they care about the average American!!

    April 23, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Tommy – They spent over $1 billion to make sure that people with pre existing conditions do not get access to health care. They have 20,000 employees in foreign countries who benefit from socialized medicine, and are opposed to private insurance for their 50,000 American employees, and the 45 million uninsured. Patriots, hardly.

    April 23, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Michigan patriot

    These are men that care about their country, I sure appreciate what they are doing, finally somebody is standing up and try to help our country. Not like Reid, a man with no conscience, an hypocrite and a liar. You talk so much about the "Koch brothers," spending so much money in ads, what about all the billionaires that give money to the Democrats? No news about them.

    April 23, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Anthony

    Americans For Prosperity is only for Americans who are prosperous. They are against government helping people, unless you want government vouchers to go to religious or charter schools.

    April 23, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  19. Lizzie

    Tampa... Soros who makes 4 BILLIONS a year spends that much through moveon.org etc, and hides behind left organizations, the Koch brother say thats what we stand for and support it.

    April 23, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. Chris-E...al

    Its money well spent to save the life of this nation. Why all the fuss ? Is that a bad thang @well ?

    April 23, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Silence DoGood

    I am glad there are exposing articles on these guys. They tried to hide behind the Tea Party groups and other false "grass roots" movements. We see now that many of these were simply a front. The simple truth is they are trying to buy power through political puppets. The ultimate goal is a corporate America with a Theocratic moral code. If they cannot buy their way, they are already spinning up the gun clubs to take over by force if needed. People need to see what is happening.

    April 23, 2014 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    If corporations are people who get to enjoy free speech rights, then what's the BMI of Koch Industries?

    *crickets*

    April 23, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Tampa Tim

    Lizzie- The brothers Koch made $38 billion last year (a record) and to celebrate, they fired 3500 employees.

    April 23, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  24. Al-NY,NY

    they got near zero ROI in the 2012 elections. They'll take even a few wins this time. They and that walking corpse Addelson wasted so much $ before it's staggering. Me, I would still hope for for near zero ROI

    April 23, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Chris-E...al: "Its money well spent to save the life of this nation."

    LMAO if you think the top 1% owning and controlling everything is a good idea. Go live in a third-world country first.

    BTW, does it bother you that the Koch brothers' father made his fortune helping Stalin build his energy infrastructure?

    April 23, 2014 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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